Public Health

Articles, books, statistics, how to cite references, and more information about the multidisciplinary field of public health.

Find Journal Articles, News, Conference Papers, and More

Save your time! Use these search techniques:
  • Put quotation marks around PHRASES (two or more words), so that the words are searched together
    --- Example: "chicken pox"
  • Put an asterisk at the end of words, so that you get all of the word endings
    --- Example: high* = high, highs, higher, highest
  • Think of alternate spellings or synonyms
    --- Example: healthcare or "healthcare"; malfunction or failure
  • Start by putting your search words in the Title. If you get nothing, you can take them out of the Title and move them to "Anywhere."

Use background information to learn more about your topic, before getting to more specific information about it:

1) Encyclopedia of Public Health

2) Books -- Look in the library catalog (called "Catalyst") to find books about your topic

3) Medical information for consumers in

4) Go to PubMed and use MeSH (the excellent thesaurus) to get definitions

5) Also in PubMed, you can look for REVIEW ARTICLES:

  1. Do your search
  2. On the left, under "Article types," click "Review"

  3. CQ Researcher for background and summaries of topics -- Make sure to notice the dates
  4. Other Subject Databases of Interest (add "review" in your search in TITLE)
  • On the library home page: Articles and Databases --> DATABASES --> "Find a database by subject"
    Choose one of the subjects (e.g., Medicine, Sociology, Psychology, Political Science) and search in the databases under "Core"


Information about PubMed!

(Note: the new PubMed platform will be available sometime in the Spring, but it's still being tested.  Please use the current PubMed during this semester.)





Finding Information about Everything

Use journal articles to get:

  • a narrow or specific part of your topic
  • up-to-date information

1. Library home page --> Articles and Databases --> DATABASES

2.  Click "Browse all databases"


3. Choose a subject to see the databases with information about it.


4. In each list, start with the databases under CORE -- they are the best and most relevant 

  • For a description about what's in the database, click "More Info" next to the database name

What journal articles are the most used? Which ones have been cited the most often?

Three databases now tell you the answer. (Remember that newer articles will not have had time to be cited by other authors.)

  1. Web of Science -- sort by "times cited"
  2. Scopus -- sort by "times cited"
  3. Google Scholar -- tells you how many times each article has been cited, but you can't sort by that

NOTE: Google Scholar's number will almost always be wrong. It will be too high, because Scholar adds things that are not appropriate, such as lecture notes and Powerpoint slides.

The library's Citing guide gives examples for the three main reference styles and some others, including AMA, which is the style that you are using.

Easy Ways To Cite Sources

When you are still searching for articles:

  1. Find an article in a high-quality database like Compendex
  2. Go to the full text
  3. "Export" to RefWorks or other citation managers, if "export" is an option

When you have a specific article:

  1. Put article title into Google Scholar
  2. Click the little quotation mark symbol
  3. Export to RefWorks or one of the other citation managers:

OR, just configure Scholar so that it ALWAYS sends your citations to RefWorks:  go to the menu (the 3 lines) at the top left of Scholar, choose Settings, and RefWorks:

For Writing Help -- Make an appointment with the Writing Center
RefWorks is the citation manager that is supported by JHU. It is free for you.
  • Citation managers let you export citations FROM databases INTO the manager, so that you can put them into separate folders, and print out a bibliography in whatever style you want
  • Here is our guide about how to use it
Use the NEW RefWorks! Log in here.
  • Here are video tutorials about the NEW RefWorks
  • NEVER search from within RefWorks; always search from within the database itself

Literature Reviews

"Literature review," "systematic literature review," "integrative literature review" -- These are terms used in different disciplines for the same thing, which is a rigorous examination of the scholarly literature about a topic.

  • Write a Literature Review -- The library's guide to doing this!
  • Health Sciences Literature Review Made Easy
    -- This e-book is several editions old, but has basic information that's helpful
    -- This book is now sold only with an access code that only works for one person, so the library won't be buying it. But it will probably be helpful for several classes for at least the next few years, so you might consider buying the latest edition (the 5th)
  • Writing Center at UNC -- U North Carolina Chapel Hill has a very good guide about lit reviews and how to write them
  • Other books at our library -- These books are from 2012 to the present and are focused on literature in the health fields

How will you organize the articles and information that you find? Do a Matrix.

  • Using Google Sheets, Word, Excel, or whatever you want, create a table
  • The column headings should include the citation information, and the main points that you want to track, like this:

    [Attribution: This document was created by NC State University Writing and Speaking Tutorial Service Tutors during Fall 2006. Contributors were Laura Ingram, James Hussey, Michelle Tigani, and Mary Hemmelgarn. Special thanks to Stephanie Huneycutt for providing the sample matrix and paragraph.]
  • More pointers from Duquesne University
RefWorks Can Help
  • Use the tags and/or folders for keeping track of  topics within your review

Is this paper peer-reviewed? Ulrichsweb will tell you.

1) On the library home page, go to ARTICLES and DATABASES --> DATABASES --> ulrichsweb

2) Put in the title of the JOURNAL (not the article), in quotation marks so all the words are next to each other


3) Mouse over the black icon, and you'll see that it means "refereed" (which means peer-reviewed, because it's been looked at by referees or reviewers). This journal is not peer-reviewed, because none of the formats have a black icon:


4) When a journal is peer-reviewed, it looks like this: